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Woman suffering from whiplash injury after car accident

How Are Pain And Suffering Damages Calculated In Florida: A Complete Guide

People suffer different types of damage during an accident. Economic ones include medical bills, property damages fees, cost of replacement services, and more.

Meanwhile, non-economic damages cover pain and suffering. Getting a settlement for economic injuries is easier because you can prove them easily.

However, proving pain and suffering damages is difficult. You may also wonder how to calculate such damages. If so, the following post will help you.

What Qualifies As Pain And Suffering In Florida?

An infographic on the meaning of pain and suffering in Florida

Two broad categories come under pain and suffering damages in Florida:

Physical Pain

Physical pain is the pain a person experiences due to specific injuries. For example, an auto accident may lead to a wrist fracture causing you to be in immense pain.

A hospital may also amputate your leg after a serious accident with a truck. You will suffer from pain immediately after the crash and in recovery after the surgery.

Performing physical therapy after surgeries can also cause you to suffer pain. You can quantify this factor by using pain and suffering damages calculation methods to seek compensation.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is a wide category that includes any mental changes you may experience after an accident. These may be:

  • Mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Panic disorders

Information from a therapist or psychiatrist may help you receive a diagnosis of such emotional changes.

Some people also lose interest in their daily life activities because of physical pain due to the accident injury. This also comes under emotional suffering damages.

You can use pain and suffering damages calculation methods to seek compensation.

Florida’s Legal Threshold For Severe Injury

The new Florida statutes have observed some changes in 2023. This state requires you to meet the legal threshold for serious injuries.

If you meet the requirements, you can easily file a claim for pain and suffering damages. The legal threshold conditions are:

  • A significant loss of bodily function
  • Permanent injury state
  • Significant or permanent bodily disfigurement
  • Death or life threat

If your injuries follow such requirements, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering damages.

How To Prove Pain And Suffering Damages In Florida?

An infographic on how to prove pain and suffering damages in Florida

Initiating a claim for pain and damages in Florida requires you to prove these things. You can do that by providing:

1.   Medical Records

It is a well-known rule for insurance agencies to ask for medical records for damage evidence. If you sustain severe or minor injuries, you must visit a hospital after the accident.

After the checkup, the doctor can give you a medical certificate highlighting the details of your condition. Insurance agencies usually deny claims of people who don’t provide medical records.

They may also deny your pain and suffering damages claim if you get a medical record of a later date. For instance, some people go to the hospital a few days or months later after the accident.

Once they learn about their condition more, they file a claim. However, insurance agencies can deny the damages by considering the patient’s fault for their pain and suffering.

They may argue that your pain and suffering damages exacerbated because you didn’t opt for immediate medical attention. That is why medical records and the timing of healthcare attention play a significant role in proving damages.

Your medical records can also prove conditions that cause you pain and suffering for a lifetime. So be sure to get a comprehensive checkup after accidents and a medical certificate.

2.   Expert Testimonies

Expert testimonies can also help you prove pain and suffering damages. The testimony may be by a physical therapist you’ve been visiting to recover from injuries.

An expert may highlight in their testimony the following things:

  • Type of pain you’re experiencing
  • How long have you been experiencing the pain?
  • How long the pain will persist in the future?
  • Emotional changes you’ve been facing
  • The impact of pain and suffering damages on your life

Testimonies by your friends and family members can also serve as evidence. These statements can help a personal injury lawyer show in court how pain and suffering damages are affecting your life.

Your lawyer may also advise you on any expert you may visit for faster recovery. For instance, they may encourage you to see a psychiatrist for emotional suffering.

The testimony of that psychiatrist can then play a role in helping you secure a settlement amount.

3.   A Personal Written Record

No one can understand your pain and suffering damages better than you. This is why you must keep a personal written record of your suffering in a journal.

You can record every emotion you’ve been feeling after the accident and any negative thoughts. Detailing the difficulties you’re facing due to the injuries and pain is also necessary.

How the injuries are impacting your life can also be written in the journal. You may also use the notebook to record mental changes such as highs and lows.

A lawyer can then use this journal to prove pain and suffering damages in Florida. Such evidence is also helpful in cases of jury trials.

The details of your suffering along with expert testimonies and medical records will serve as strong evidence.

So there will be little chance of losing the case if all your evidence details are consistent.

How Are Pain And Suffering Damages Calculated In Florida?

Typically, lawyers and insurance agencies use three methods to determine how much is pain and suffering worth. These are:

1.   Multiplier Method

The most common method of calculating pain and suffering damages is the multiplier method. It involves totaling the medical bills of the victim and multiplying them by a value of between 1.5 and 5.

Various factors are considered before deciding the exact multiplier figure. These are:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Prognosis of your condition
  • Daily life impact of the suffering
  • Whether you have any fault in the accident

If you suffer a whiplash injury with a broken arm and concussion, your injuries fall under the moderate category. This means your total bills may be multiplied by 3 usually to calculate pain and suffering damages.

Meanwhile, the multiplier figure is close to 5 for severe injuries. The value of pain and suffering damages will depend on your total bills. This is why one must calculate those bills accurately.

A lawyer may help you total your medical bills, lost wages, property damage costs, and other economic damages. An accurate total of these damages will maximize your pain and suffering settlement after multiplying it with the proper value.

2.   Per Diem Method

Another common way to calculate pain and suffering damages is the per diem method. This sets a specific dollar amount for each day you suffer due to pain and emotional damage.

The per diem method also considers the future period you’re expected to experience the pain and suffering. Your accident factors and specific case details will affect the dollar value set for your damages.

This method may be less efficient than the multiplier method because it is difficult to determine a dollar value for pain. Your lawyer will also have to consider the dates your pain and suffering began and when it will end.

Determining the end date is difficult because wounds don’t heal overnight. A doctor’s testimony may be needed about the recovery dates for the per diem method.

3.   Comparison Method

The earlier calculation methods lead to insurance agencies paying high pain and suffering settlement amounts. So they try to minimize their payouts by using a third method of calculation.

This method mainly relies on the comparison of injuries. The company may find previous cases with similar wounds and accident details as yours. They will then offer the same figure they gave to the previous victim.

Such a method may cause you to receive a lowball offer. You can take the case to trial by hiring a personal injury lawyer. Typically, taking the claim to court may help you secure better pain and suffering settlement amounts.

How Much Is Pain And Suffering Worth In Florida: Typical Settlement Amounts

Here are some examples of pain and suffering settlement amounts:

1.   Average Overall Payout

The average payout for injuries after a car accident is $23,234 for pain and suffering. You can receive a greater amount if your total economic bills are higher.

You cannot find proper statistics for pain and suffering settlement amounts because of confidentiality clauses. The factors of each case are also different, so the average payout cannot be the same for every claim.

2.   Settlement For Pain And Suffering Damages Caused By Auto Accidents

Auto accidents can help you receive up to $135,000 in settlement after car crashes. This value is mainly for a victim suffering from extensive injuries that caused them to get physical therapy.

You may have also stayed in the hospital for about three days or more. So remember for severe injuries your settlement amount can exceed $100,000.

Meanwhile, minor to moderate injuries after auto accidents will have a settlement amount lower than $100,000.

3.   Premises Liability Settlement For Pain And Suffering Damages

Premises liability pain and suffering settlement amounts are usually high. You may get injured in a store due to the owner’s or staff’s negligence.

For instance, you may fall due to water accumulation in a retail store’s section due to no danger mark. The settlement amount may be up to $650,000 if you suffer from severe injuries.

4.   Pain And Suffering Damages Settlement After Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents can help you receive pain and suffering settlement amounts of up to $1 million. Such a high figure is usually difficult to obtain without an expert personal injury lawyer.

The medical records must also prove you sustained severe injuries such as fractures of forearm bones, hip and knee fractures, and more. You may have also undergone multiple surgeries to recover from the accident.

In such cases, the settlement amount will be up to $1 million. If you don’t receive surgery for any injury, the figure will be significantly low.

Pain And Suffering Damages Florida Statute Of Limitations

An answer post explaining the statute of limitations on pain and suffering damages in Florida

Typically, you have two years to file an injury lawsuit to recover pain and suffering damages. This limit also applies to cases of wrongful death due to an accident.

If you don’t meet this deadline, you cannot file a case to seek compensation after an accident. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to start your case within time will be necessary.


Can I Sue For Pain And Suffering In Florida?

You can sue for pain and suffering in Florida. The at-fault party’s bodily liability insurance will cover such damages. You may have to take the case to court to seek compensation.

Can You Sue For Emotional Distress In Florida?

You can sue for emotional distress in Florida within two years of the accident leading to such changes. The at-fault party will have to pay the compensation amount or their insurance agency.

How Much Is Usually Awarded For Pain And Suffering In Florida?

The typical payout for pain and suffering is up to $20,000 in Florida. This figure may be higher if you take the case to trial. It will also be higher if you sustained severe injuries and received multiple surgeries.

What Is Considered A Good Settlement?

A good settlement will cover your pain and suffering damages accurately. It must also cover the economic damages fairly because they will affect the settlement of pain and suffering.

Contact A Lawyer For Personal Injury In Winter Park To Claim Pain And Suffering Damages

That was all you need to know about calculating pain and suffering damages. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a great idea to determine the accurate estimates of your compensation value.

The good news is we can help you with hiring a personal injury lawyer. Contact us today to consult with our team of expert attorneys who can help you get fair compensation for pain and suffering.

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